Satellite Observations of Smoke from Oil Fires in Kuwait

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Science  14 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5012, pp. 1536-1539
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5012.1536


Extensive dark smoke clouds associated with burning oil wells in Kuwait have been seen in data from weather satellites since early February 1991. The smoke is dispersed over a wide area. Variable and strong low level winds have held most of the smoke plume below 3 to 5 kilometers within a few hundred kilometers of the source. Thin veils of smoke have been detected in METEOSAT data as far away as 2000 kilometers east of Kuwait, over southwestern Pakistan at heights between 6 and 7 kilometers. The occasional presence of convective clouds over the fires indicates that some scavenging of the smoke is taking place.